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Sitting at Bryce's baseball games during Spring break, my body shut down. I was in so much pain Bryce's mother had to take me back to our condo room. My head was pounding and my body was shutting down. It can be kind of scary when my body starts to shut down. It happens anytime, anywhere. I was so frustrated I couldn't stay for the game. The vacation was to support my husband but felt like I had failed him. I took a hot bath and after just sat in a chair, overlooking the ocean. Barely able to move, I closed my eyes and listened to the ocean. Soon, I fell asleep for hours and didn't wake up until Lilly and the grandparents arrived back at the room. I laid in my bed and watched them eat dinner. I still had no energy. I truly cherish the days I feel good because on a bad day my life is very different. The pain is so intense at times that my body feels like it's on fire.
Last night, my body felt like it was on fire. In bed by 8 PM, I couldn't move. Literally, my feet and hands were on fire. My hands become stiff and are hard to close up. My wrist and ankles feel as though knives repeatedly stab me over and over again. My thoughts are all over the place. Harry Potter, reading, meditation, and music usually help clam my thoughts when I am in so much pain.
People with chronic pain, such as myself, tend to have reoccurring flare-ups. Flare-ups are an increase in our pain level. The problem with flare-ups is that I never know when it will occur. I could be extremely busy one day, out with friends and my daughter, and it just hits me. It's like a huge tidal wave just runs into me. One minute, I am running around with my daughter and the next I am laying on the floor or couch, unable to move. Emotionally, flare-ups keep you anxious and in fear because you can't really prepare for it. You never know when it is going to happen or why. It doesn't matter how little or how much I do in one day—a flare-up will happen. I would say two days out of the week my body has a flare-up. Usually, the flare-up is the worst in my chest. I used to think I was having a heart attack. My chest becomes extremely tight and burns. I have been to the ER before because the chest pain and flare-up was so bad it led me to believe I was having a heart-attack. Flare-ups are real and no joke. When I have a flare up, I cannot concentrate on anything. I have trouble interacting and communicating with family or friends when I have a flare-up. I am short with people and usually just want to read a book or be left alone. The house becomes a mess and as a mom I feel guilty. Over the last month though, I am beginning to learn how to love my body and not beat myself up when I have a flare-up. I try to relax and do more stretching or meditating when my body is going through a flare-up. Also, I have been trying not to isolate myself as much during a flare-up. Even if it's just cuddling with my husband or reading books to Lilly. I am finding ways to still be with my loved ones during these painful times instead of hiding.